Welcome to the Orbit July Newsletter

We have a number of articles of interest this month. In particular news of a Worldwide to Australia B.A.F. Implementation, The implementation of a Port Infrastructure charge into Adelaide, and numerous government body changes to documentation requirements, regulations and customs clearance requirements.

Some of these include articles from the Department of Agriculture regarding ISPM Wood Packaging requirements for Export Cargo, The proposed implementation of a Bio-Security Imports Levy, changes to China Customs Manifest submissions and an up-date on the Brown Marmorated stink bug season.

There is also an interesting short article on how in conjunction with Symons CLark, Orbit Logistics assisted with the Importation and safe arrival of a dredger for the KDC.

As always, please contact our office with any inquiries on the Newsletter topics.

Happy Reading!

Glenn Allison

Managing Director


Due to the significant increase in Bunker fuel prices since the start of the year, majority of carriers will introduce a bunker recovery cost which will be applied to  All Cargo on All Worldwide Trade Lanes into Australia & New Zealand.Where carriers are yet to announce their intention, B.A.F. will be charged to clients accordingly where applicable. This of course will apply to all FCL and LCL cargo.

Effective Date: 1st June, 2018
Origin: All Countries
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Equipment:  FCL Containers

Equipment Type Currency 20ft Containers 40ft GP Containers    40ft HC Containers
DRY USD USD 55.00 – 65.00 USD 110.00 – 130.00 USD 110.00 – 130.00
Equipment Type Currency 20ft Containers 40ft GP Containers    40ft HC Containers
REEFER USD USD 85.00 – 95.00 USD 170.00 – 190.00 USD 170.00 – 190.00

Effective Date: 1st June, 2018
Origin: All Countries
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Equipment:  LCL Cargo

Minimum:       USD 2.50 Per M3 / Tonne
Maximum:      USD 3.50 Per M3 / Tonne


  1. The Effective date is based on the Shipped on Board Date.
  2. Cost to be applied will be subject to carrier.

Carriers have advised the B.A.F. recovery amount will be reevaluated on a monthly basis. For more information, please contact sales@orbitlogistics.com.au


Thanks to a wonderful collaboration between Kingston District Council and Cape Jaffa Development Company, I am proud to announce the safe arrival of our KDC baby this morning, measuring 26m and 58t . The Dredger was brought in 6 x 40ft Containers and 4 x Break Bulk Pieces. The Dredger had to be delivered in such a way it could be be put together precisely. Engineers were flown in from the Netherlands to put the  500m3 of cargo together. the Bulk Break cargo was discharged from the vessel straight onto Symons Clark trucks and put together on site.Orbit Logistics played a crucial part of the logistical arrangements of the dredger including the clearance and all bio security measures that goods had to under-take to be cleared with Customs & the Australian Quarantine Department.

Thanks to the hard work of Dr Damen and the support team from KDC; and the midwives – Orbit Logistics, Samaras Cranes and Symons Clark.

Underwater search for YM Efficiency containers to begin

A SUBSEA search for the missing containers from YM Efficiency is to begin soon, AMSA announced on Friday.

The Authority confirmed that the ship’s insurers had contracted Port of Newcastle to provide its hydrographic survey vessel to conduct a five-day search.

A statement from AMSA said the initial search would focus on the high-priority areas around where the containers were lost, and where modelling indicates that most of them are likely to be located.


The initial search area is identified in the map below with the shaded area showing where the initial search will be undertaken by the survey vessel. The map also shows the location where the containers were lost and the location of the two containers which have been recovered so far. Credit: AMSA

The initial search area is identified in the map above with the shaded area showing where the initial search will be undertaken by the survey vessel. The map also shows the location where the containers were lost and the location of the two containers which have been recovered so far. Credit: AMSA

“The vessel will conduct daily surveys of the area, returning to Newcastle each night,” AMSA’s statement said.

“It will take approximately a fortnight to process and analyse the survey data and provide quality safety advice with associated maps and locations.”

AMSA also noted that as the process of unloading the remaining damaged containers from YM Efficiencyprogressed, it was discovered that fewer containers were lost than initially reported.

The total number of containers lost has been revised down from 83 containers to 81, this leaves 79 containers still unaccounted for.

YM Efficiency has departed Port Botany, bound for Melbourne.

Record port trade at Melbourne in May

AN INCREASE in full and empty containers was a major factor in Port of Melbourne recording record revenue tonnes for the month of May. According to Port statistics, total port trade for May 2018 was 8.42m revenue tonnes, 9.7% greater than May last year and 8.9% up for the financial year to date.

“This overall monthly increase was attributable to full and empty containers, wheeled unitised cargoes and breakbulk,” a Port statement read. Total container throughput (full + empty) for May was a record 265,049 TEU, exceeding the previous monthly best of 254,957 TEU recorded in October 2017.

According to the Port, this was 13.1% above May 2017 and 8.9% up for the financial year to date, with total container imports up 18.1% for the month and total exports increasing 8.2%.

Motor vehicle trade fell for the first time in four months with a 4.8% decrease on May 2017, but was still up 7.8% for the financial year to date. The monthly decline was attributed to the export sector with new passenger vehicle exports described as “well down”.

Other breakbulk cargoes were reported to be well above last year’s levels, increasing 50.1% over May 2017 to be up 30.6% for the financial year to date. Exports of machinery along with imports of iron and steel were the main commodities responsible for the monthly rise.

Mandatory Country of Origin Requirements on food labelling

From 1 July 2018 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will be ramping up enforcement of mandatory Country of Origin Requirements on food labelling, including a market surveillance check on 10,000 products.

All importers that offer food for retail in Australia will need to comply.

The Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 first commenced under Australian Consumer Law on 1 July 2016.

The labelling requirements will vary depending on whether the food is a priority or non-priority food or was grown, produced, made or packed in Australia or another country.

Priority foods include meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables, most dairy products (e.g. milk, yoghurt and cheese), breakfast cereal, bread, nuts, honey and non-carbonated fruit juices.

The Country of Origin food labelling guidance is available HERE.

Review into OSOM truck permit delays begins


THE federal government over the weekend announced an independent review into why some heavy vehicle operators have experienced delays in being granted permits for oversize, over-mass (OSOM) vehicle movements.

Deputy prime minister and minister for infrastructure and transport Michael McCormack said the review followed concerns being raised by industry about operators of some restricted-access heavy vehicles being required to wait for up to several months for permits.

“To protect infrastructure and ensure the safety of other road users, oversized trucks and machinery that are outside the standard weight and/or dimension limits often require special authority to travel on certain roads,” Mr McCormack said.

“In some cases, however, the time it is taking for this authority to be granted is much longer than anticipated, leaving trucking businesses unable to deliver the required goods when they are needed.”

Mr McCormack said the OSOM review would consider what changes to the regulatory framework and processes are required to ensure OSOM vehicle permits could be issued within a reasonable timeframe without compromising safety.

”We need to sort through the barriers to the efficient transport of large but essential materials and machinery and come up with both immediate and long-term responses to the issues,” he said.

Consultancy firm WSP Australia was chosen to undertake the review with the assistance of an expert reference group, which will include industry representatives.

“The review will be led by Pascal Felix from WSP who, as a former regulator in Western Australia, brings a wealth of relevant industry experience to the role,” Mr McCormack said.

The review will begin immediately with consultation with industry, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and road managers including local councils and state and territory road authorities.

The review is scheduled to be completed by October 2018 following which a report will be provided to federal, state and territory transport ministers for their consideration.

The Australian Logistics Council welcomed the start of the review; managing director Michael Kilgariff said delays in granting OSOM permits had been proving costly for many parts of the industry.

“The flow-on effects are felt throughout the entire economy, most acutely in the mining resources, agricultural and construction sectors,” he said.

“Given the importance of these sectors to Australia’s export performance and the need to enhance the nation’s infrastructure, it is critical that the lengthy delays being experienced by many operators are addressed.”

Mr Kilgariff noted that the final report of the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities specifically identified streamlining the route approval process for OSOM movements as a priority action.

Wellington’s CentrePort bouncing back after 2016 Earthquake

CENTREPORT announced a NZ$2m interim dividend, which it says is a reflection of the company’s bounce-back from the impact of the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, which put its container cranes out of commission for 10 months.

CentrePort chairman Lachie Johnstone said the dividend payment was a result of the port returning to pre-earthquake levels of performance in most business units.

“The business is operating strongly with volumes of logs, cars and petroleum at or surpassing pre-quake numbers, and well on the way back in container volumes. We’ve also experienced a bumper cruise ship season,” he said.

“Our people have done a tremendous job in the quake response and ongoing remedial work while getting on with ‘business as usual’.”

Chief Executive Derek Nind said customers, contractors and other partners had played critical roles in the bounce-back.

“Our customers showed patience while we dealt with significant challenges including the two ship-to-shore cranes being out of action for ten months,” he said.

“Contractors and partners such as those involved in our regional CentreRail strategic partnerships have helped get us get back into a position to pay a dividend. While there are ongoing challenges, CentrePort is looking to the future with confidence.”

Cold weather thwarts attack of the mites at Melbourne

MELBOURNE’S famously miserable winter weather appears to have come to the aid of Australia’s honey bee industry. Last week it was reported a bee colony (in a wooden crate) infested with varroa mites was found on a ship from the USA. Some varroa mites (there are different varieties) have devastated honey bee colonies around the world but have hitherto been kept out of Australia.

A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources said the bees were destroyed and the crate had been treated to manage any other potential risks.

“We are confident that this detection is isolated to a single colony,” the spokesperson said.

Moreover, the weather proved to be an ally.

“Weather conditions meant the bees were lethargic, which would impact on their ability to fly off the ship,” the spokesperson said.

According to the Department, there is no evidence of spread outside of the affected cargo and surveillance of sentinel hives at the port had returned negative results for varroa mite.

“We will continue working with Agriculture Victoria to conduct regular surveillance of the sentinel hives at the port,” the spokesperson said.

“We will also be establishing new sentinel hives in the region and conducting floral sweep netting in the port precinct and the adjoining parkland.”

The source of the detection is reportedly being investigated.

“The ship master proactively reported the suspected risk, and this is a great example of industry’s vital role in helping safeguard Australia from significant biosecurity pests and diseases.”


New Packing Declarations Implementation

Further to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) Import Industry Advice Notice 101-2017 – Implementation of revised Minimum Documentary and Import Declaration Requirements and Non Commodity Information Requirements Policies, we would like to remind you the department has now updated the packing declaration templates. The department has aligned the Non Commodity Information Requirements policy and the Non Commodity BICON Case with the import conditions for bamboo packaging. Bamboo packaging is now acceptable provided it is treated by an approved method prior to export or on arrival and does not need to be declared as unacceptable packaging.

The department will continue to accept packing declarations that are in the current format for consignments shipped on or before 30 June 2018. All consignments shipped on or after 1 July 2018, must be accompanied by a packaging declaration that meets the revised requirements.

Updated templates are now available on the Acceptable documentation templates webpage to enable you to advise your clients / suppliers to start using the new templates.

ISPM 15 Wood Packaging Requirements For Export Cargo

Please be advised ISPM 15 Wood Packaging requirements must be adhered to when export cargo from Australia. It is the responsibility of the shipper to ensure that any cargo containing wood and/or wood packaging is in line with the requirement of the country of destination.

Please note: Cargo may be delayed and additional costs incurred at shippers’ expense, if these requirements are not adhered to.

Please refer the below link to AQIS which provides further information regarding the ISPM 15 Standard, and information regarding the requirements of each country of destinations.


For further information, please contact our Export Department on exports@orbitlogistics.com.au


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GST on Low Value Imported Goods

The Federal Parliament has passed law that will extend goods and services tax (GST) to low value imports of physical goods imported by consumers from 1 July 2018. Businesses that meet the A$75,000 registration threshold will need to take action now to review their business systems to ensure that they are able to comply.

  • Register for GST
  • charge GST on sales of low value imported goods (unless they are GST-free)
  • lodge returns to the ATO.

These businesses may be merchants who sell goods, electronic distribution platform operators or re-deliverers. For goods imported in a consignment over A$1,000, any GST, customs duty and clearance charges will be charged to the importer at the border under existing processes. This new law is designed so that businesses:

  • will not charge GST on a sale when GST will be charged at the border, because an item is either
    • worth over A$1,000
    • a tobacco product
    • an alcoholic beverage
  • will not need to charge GST on a sale if it is clear that multiple goods will be shipped to Australia in one consignment worth over A$1,000 – GST will be charged at the border instead.

The existing processes to collect GST on imports above $1,000 at the border are unchanged.

In summary, the reforms:

  • make supplies of goods valued at A$1,000 or less at the time of supply connected with Australia if the goods are purchased by consumers and are brought into Australia with the assistance of the supplier
  • treat the operator of an electronic distribution platform (EDP) as the supplier of low value goods if the goods are purchased through the platform by consumers and brought into Australia with the assistance of either the supplier or the operator
  • treat re-deliverers as the suppliers of low value goods if the goods are delivered outside of Australia as part of the supply, and the re-deliverer assists with their delivery into Australia as part of a shopping or mailbox service that it provides under an arrangement with the consumer
  • allow non-resident suppliers of low value goods that are connected with Australia to elect to access the simplified registration and reporting system
  • prevent double taxation.

Response to the Four Corners episode – Biosecurity breaches

Members may have seen the Four Corners episode on Monday night which exposed a number of claimed breaches of Australia’s biosecurity.

The full episode is available HERE

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) has provided a response to some of the claims made in that program. A media release with their response is available HERE

Biosecurity Imports Levy

orbit logistics newsletter

During the conference question and answer session, a delegate strongly advised against issuing any levy against the stevedore operator with concerns that these costs would most likely be recovered against transport operators via the Vehicle Booking System (VBS). This in turn is likely to be passed down the supply chain with the addition of GST and administrative fees as witnessed with the recent introduction of infrastructure surcharges administered by the stevedores resulting in inflated costs by the time the end importer or exporters is billed.
Another conference delegate (Rod Nairn, CEO Shipping Australia Ltd) raised concerns about the fee on non-containerised sea cargo using an example of a vessel discharging 50,000 tonne of bulk liquids would be liable for a cost recovery fee of $50,000.

In response, Matthew Koval stated that these matters will be further considered as a part of a co-design process. FTA has subsequently communicated with the department putting forward a view that any form of import cost recovery against containerised cargo is best placed against the Full Import Declaration via the Integrated Cargo System (ICS) where the net cost is passed onto the shipper.


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Non-prohibited Goods Without Import Permit

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has published Industry advice notice 33-2018 detailing how conditionally non-prohibited goods will be managed if they arrive without a required import permit.  http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/industry-advice/2018/33-2018

Who does this notice affect?

Importers of conditionally non-prohibited goods that require an import permit and agents acting on importers’ behalf.

What has changed?

From 9 April 2018, the department will no longer facilitate the clearance of conditionally non-prohibited goods that arrive without the required import permit.

Goods that require a permit, but arrive without one, including where an application is currently under consideration, will be directed for export from Australian territory or required to be destroyed in an approved manner.

Why are permits required?

The Biosecurity (Prohibited and Conditionally Non-prohibited Goods) Determination 2016 (the Determination)specifies the alternative conditions for the import of conditionally non-prohibited goods. Where there are no alternative conditions for particular goods specified in the Determination an import permit is required.

The import permit assessment and approval process, as set out in the Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act), provides the department with control over the import of certain biosecurity risk goods through the application of conditions based on technical, scientific, administrative requirements, and the fitness and propriety of the importer and their associates.

Conditionally non-prohibited goods must not be brought or imported into Australian territory, unless the specified conditions are complied with, including holding a valid import permit if required. The Act does not provide for permits to be issued after the goods have been brought into Australian territory, and to do so is a criminal offence with a penalty of 5 years imprisonment or 300 penalty units, or both. The penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment and/or 2,000 penalty units if a person obtains a commercial advantage over their competitors or potential competitors. Contravening the Act can also make a person liable to a civil penalty of up to 120 penalty units.

Further information

Check if your goods require an import permit by accessing the Biosecurity Import Conditions (BICON) system. If you have goods in transit that may arrive without an import permit contact Imports to discuss your options. www.agriculture.gov.au/about/contactus

Port Infrastructure Levy – Adelaide Terminals

Following in suit to other states, Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal will also be introducing a Port Infrastructure Levy on all Import Containers.
Similar to other states, Flinders Terminal have also advised that due to land-side costs are on the increase, they have to also introduce a levy.Please therefore note that the varied costs will apply effective date are as follows:-
Effective Date:  1st July 2018
AU$38.50  –  AU$55.00    Per 20ft or 40ft ContainerCosts are effective on containers entering the terminal on and after the above date. Should you need to discuss the above, please feel free to contact our office.
In the meantime, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office.

China – Regulatory Changes to China Customs Advance Manifest (CCAM) for All Inbound Cargo Imports

Please be informed that with effect from 01 June 2018 and as per the release of Order No. 56 [2017] by China Customs pertaining to changes in regulations to the CCAM, all shippers or parties with inbound cargo imports to China will be required to comply with the following additional regulatory requirements:

Additional Manifest Submission Requirements

• Submission must be made at least 24 hours prior to loading, for all vessels which are going to, via or out of any of the mainland ports in China
• Submission must also include an accurate and a total representation of all goods under the Bills of Lading (BL)

Additional Shipping Instruction (SI) Submission Requirements

Requirements Notes
For Consignor Company Code, Phone Number Mandatory
Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Status Optional
For Consignee Company Name Mandatory
Company Code, Phone Number Mandatory if not “To Order”
Contact Person’s Name and Number Mandatory if not “To Order”
Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Status Optional
Notify Party’s Company Code, Phone Number Mandatory if “To Order”

Regulations for Importing Vehicles into Australia

A reminder to all clients Importing vehicles into Australia, that an Import Permit is required to be applied for.

An application for a Vehicle Import Approval, with all necessary supporting documentation will generally be assessed by the Department within 20 working days of receipt (including payment of the lodgement fee). This process will take longer if the necessary supporting documentation is not initially provided, if the original application is incomplete or any further information or clarification is required.

Obtaining a Vehicle Import Approval is only one step in the process of importing a vehicle into Australia. Depending on the type of vehicle, the processes may be complex, involve several organisations, and take many weeks. For an overview of the process, read the 8 steps to import a vehicle.

Permits are required for all of the following forms of vehicles.

New & Used Cars / Race/Rally car or Motorbike’s / New & Used Trucks / Motorbikes / Moped’s / Buses / Motor-homes / Trailers / Motorised Wheelchairs / Power assisted pedal cycle or motorised scooters / ATV’s / Quad Bikes / Go-Carts / Scooters /  Small or mini motor-bikes / Any non standard vehicle/special purpose (eg: city utility vehicles – fire tenders, garbage trucks, sweepers, mobile cranes, mobile drilling rigs and mobile plant operators.

If you are unsure if you require a permit or have any questions, please follow the link below or contact our office for further details.  https://infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/imports/

Specific Commodity Name and 10 Digit HS Code Required for PVG Customs

As per Customs New Rules, all import transit cargo via PVG must provide the correct HS code that shows a 10 digit number. The HS code must correspond to the correct Chinese Contents. If not specific to the exact commodity, the cargo will not be prepared for transfer and Customs may reject the cargo in the future.Use this link to ensure the HS code is correct  http://www.transcustoms.com/hscode/HScode_Search.asp

Customers exporting goods to China must now provide definitive cargo descriptions on all Export Bookings and Paperwork to avoid delays in Clearance & Delivery in China.  Forwarders will need to be specific listing on the House Air Way Bill a detailed description including contents (IN CHINESE), also listing pieces & weight.


Please be informed that with immediate effect, APL Lines has announced a temporary ban of plastic scrap shipments to the following ports in Thailand: Laemchabang, Bangkok and Songhkla.

This is in response to the escalating number of idle containers of plastic scrap in the afore-mentioned ports. Any bookings in APL possession will remain as booked, however any bookings with no container activity will be cancelled accordingly.

Orbit Logistics will continue to keep you apprised of the situation. For any assistance and more details, please contact our Customer Service Department.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Season

Further to the recent articles pertaining to the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Season, the Department of Agriculture & Water Resources has advised that containerised goods from Italy will continue to be profiled (in the departments system) up until the middle of June and that document assessment will be required until the profiling is turned off.

The department has also confirmed that there will not be a charge for the assessment of documents for this service.
In Preparation for the 2018 – 2019 Season, the Department of Agriculture has released the following Information on their website.  Please click on the link below.


For in-depth details of the affects the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has on Australia, please view the below mentioned article.


  • Renewed codeshare agreement between Air France and Qantas;
  • Connecting Australia and Paris through Hong Kong and Singapore;
  • Codeshare on more than 200(1) weekly flights from 20 July 2018;
  • Simplified and improved travel experiences for customers.

Qantas and Air France customers will now have more options to travel between Europe and Australia via Asia following a renewed code share agreement between the two carriers.

Available for booking from 5 June for travel from 20 July 2018, Air France will add its code to Qantas flights between Hong Kong and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and between Singapore and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Air France customers will also be able to access codeshare services from Sydney to five cities on the Australian airline’s domestic network; Canberra, Hobart, Adelaide, Cairns and Darwin.

Under the reciprocal deal, Qantas will add its code to flights operated by Air France between Singapore and Hong Kong and Paris-Charles de Gaulle, as a continuation of flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

The new agreement will see the two airlines code share on a total of more than 200 flights per week.

Customers will benefit from more seamless travel experiences with single ticket itineraries and through-checked baggage as well as the opportunity to earn points on the new codeshare services.

Air France eligible customers will also be able to access Qantas lounges in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, as well as Qantas eligible customers to Air France lounges in Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Patrick Alexandre, EVP Commercial Sales and Alliances at Air France-KLM, said: “We are very pleased to be re-establishing a partnership with Qantas. Thanks to this agreement, the Air France-KLM group will be able to offer one of the best possible travel solutions for its customers from Europe to Australia.  It will also deliver a better travel experience for our Business customers, with connections in Singapore and Hong Kong, two of the most popular airports in the world. This new cooperation confirms our group’s desire to expand in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Alison Webster, CEO of Qantas International, added: “This is great news for our customers who want to travel to Europe via Asia, giving them another option to get to Paris and more opportunities to earn Frequent Flyer Points. The return of this popular code share delivers on our strategy of partnering to provide customers with access to an expanded network and more seamless travel experiences wherever they want to fly.”  


PIECE-level screening for air freight soon will be required for all air freight, and not just US-bound freight.

The announcement that the new requirements would come into effect on 1 March 2019 sparked much discussion at the recent Australian Federation of International Forwarders national conference. Office of Transport Security acting assistant secretary, air cargo policy branch Anita Langford said the change in requirements was influenced by July 2017’s terrorist plot to bomb a plane leaving Sydney Airport.

Ms Langford said authorities believe the bomb was built overseas and sent to Australia via air cargo.

“What the Sydney plot showed us is that extremists will use air cargo if they can to transport devices to other extremists who don’t have the capability to construct these kinds of weapons,” she said. “This was a game changer … we discounted a scenario where someone would fly a viable explosive device on an aircraft to use somewhere else. We assumed that if someone had access to such a device they would want to detonate it on the first flight and not take the risk of transporting it.”

She said it was now known air cargo could be a way of moving a bomb around the world, and also a vector for an in-flight attack.

“We now understand that extremists are better able to use air cargo and, given the change to the threat environment, we need to ensure that all items on an aircraft receive an equivalent level of security scrutiny,” she said. “There is no point putting passengers and their checked bags that have been through a high degree of security in the cabin, and then putting un-screened or low-screened cargo on the same plane.”

Ms Langford said there had been a good model for this with the piece-level screening requirements for US-bound air cargo. As part of a panel-discussion after Ms Langford’s presentation, Air Menzies International vice-president South Pacific Geoff Young and others discussed issues with the expansion of the rules.

Mr Young said while implementation of the US-bound freight requirements in July 2017 was a challenge, good systems are in place at the company’s locations.


CONTAINERISED trade through the Port of Brisbane in April showed strong growth, driven by a sizeable uptick in exports, according to the latest trade statistics from the Port.

Total containerised trade through the port in April was reported to be 105,677 TEU – an increase of 11% on the same month last year, and an increase of 6% on container throughput in March 2018.

Exports showed significant growth in April over the same month last year, increasing 15% to 50,479 TEU, with increases in all trade categories reported, except agricultural seeds, which saw a decrease of 39% to 3226 TEU

As usual the largest containerised cargo exported from the Port of Brisbane was Sunshine State air – exports of empty containers in April totaled 22,049 TEU, an increase of 25% on the same month in 2017.

Other notable exports include “export other” with 10,661 TEU, meat products (4300 TEU), and timber (3591 TEU, a 56% increase on April 2017).

Imports for the month totaled 54,443 TEU, an 8% increase on the same month last year.

Notable imports in April included “import other” with 23,083 TEU, building products (5381 TEU), empty containers (5366 TEU) and freight all kind (5032 TEU).

Looking at total trade through the port, we also see an increase, albeit a more modest one than seen in purely container freight. Port of Brisbane handled 2.69m tonnes of trade in April, including containerised and non-containerised cargo. This was an increase of 7% when compared with April 2017’s total throughput.

Imports totaled 1.64m tonnes – an increase of 28% on last year – and exports totaled 1.02m tonnes – a decrease of 14%.

The motor vehicle trade increased over the period by 22% to a total of 24,685 units handled at the Port in April.


TOTAL trade in revenue tonnes through the Port of Melbourne for the month of April finished 5.6% above April 2017 and 8.9% up for the financial year to date.

In a statement released this week, total container throughput (full + empty) for April totalled 226,867 TEU which was 3% above April 2017 and up 8.4% for the financial year to date. Total container imports for the month were up 1.7% while total exports rose 4.3%. Motor vehicle trade was reported to have increased for the fourth consecutive month with a 21.4% rise over April 2017 to be up 9.4% for the 2017-18 financial year to date.

All monthly gains came from the import sector with overseas imports of new passenger vehicles up 26.6% and imports of transport equipment (commercial vehicles) up 29.9%. After three months of decline, liquid bulk trade returned a 21.6% increase over April 2017 to be up 1% on a year to date basis.

Imports of crude oil and petroleum products were the main commodities responsible for the monthly increase, with gains of 13.5% (+23,700 tonnes) and 40.0% (+79,600 tonnes) respectively. Other break bulk cargoes were described as performing strongly, rising 72.9% over April to be up 28.8% for the financial year to date. The majority of the monthly increase was attributed to imports of non-electrical machinery, iron and steel and metal manufactures.

NextPallet Completes Lightweight Pallet Testing

Start-up NextPallet says its new lightweight shipping pallets, which are lighter than wooden alternatives, have taken test loads of 20,000 pounds without sustaining any visible damage.  The pallets use recycled corrugated material and an industrial adhesive instead of nails and staples. Pricing will be ‘competitive’ with regular wooden pallets.

CMA-CGM Deploys Container-Tracking Technology

THE French container liner CMA CGM announced it was deploying a new container-tracking technology on a large scale.The technology, called TRAXENS, allows clients to track shipments in near-real-time.The TRAXENS system centres around a box fixed on the container which measures the container’s position, intensity of potential shocks, outside temperature variations and doors opening and closing.There are plans to add measurement of temperature and humidity inside the container to the technology’s functions.CMA CGM senior vice-president commercial and agency network Mathieu Freidberg said the technology was in line with the company’s “customer centricity strategy”.

“With nearly 19m containers carried in 2017, the generalisation of smart containers in the group’s fleet will allow to collect and analyse a lot of information necessary to improve the service offered to customers and will help them optimize their supply chain,” he said.CMA CGM invested in TRAXENS and participated in its development, leading tests of the technology.

Ombudsman Recommends Increase Container X-raying at Smaller Ports

INCREASED X-RAY capacity at smaller ports was one recommendation handed down by the Commonwealth Ombudsman following a report into the administration of the Customs Act. According to a document released by the office of the Ombudsman, representatives of the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Council of Australia approached them in late 2016 concerned about unnecessary delays from the Australian Border Force’s administration of its customs-related powers.Since July 2012 and prior to the commencement of this investigation, the Office has received 356 approaches related to the border control area of the ABF. The issues complained about were varied, however some of the reasons for delays in inbound freight raised concerns regarding the reasonableness and consistency of the ABF’s handling of the clearance of inbound containerised sea cargo.

In May 2017 the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office began an investigation, a report being released a year later.

Recommendations included:

  • The Department increase x-ray capacity at smaller ports to increase inspection capacity and reduce inspection time frames and the need to physically unpack containers and pallets;
  • The ABF, in consultation with industry, develop and make publicly available on its website plain English guidance information on the potential messaging capabilities of the Integrated Cargo System when used in conjunction with appropriate software;
  • The Department consider one or more of the following: (a) increasing staffing levels at CEFs by placing a lower operational priority on another activity, or (b) proactively adjusting the number of containers inspected in line with operational capacity, or (c) better utilising the surge model at CEFs to increase inspection capacity in periods of peak work load, and (d) increasing the pool of ABF officers who are trained in the inspection and examination technologies employed at CEFs;
  • The Department: (a) introduce service standards for container inspection based on the three day free storage period that require the majority of containers selected for inspection to be processed within three days, unless a detection has been made, and  (b) maintain annual statistics on the time taken to inspect containers;
  • The Department improve complaint handling by providing timely and detailed responses to complainants using subject matter experts;
  • In cases where the ABF has been unable to process containers efficiently, consideration should be given to advising complainants of compensation schemes available under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013;
  • The ABF work with industry to improve asbestos risk assessment to reduce the repeated targeting of importers with a history of compliance, except where new information suggests such targeting is appropriate;
  • The ABF review its website to increase its functionality and user-friendliness for those seeking to import freight by sea and ensure information and links are clearly laid out and updated on a regular basis;
  • The Department and DAWR increase collaboration for container inspections and where possible, conduct inspections in the same location and at the same time;
  • DAWR revise its cost recovery model to ensure importers are charged the same for the assessment of identical import declarations based on the real cost of proficient operational activity.

This investigation sought to gain an understanding of how the ABF manages border compliance in the containerised sea cargo environment, and how this affects the legitimate supply chain. The investigation was explanded to include the biosecurity functions of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) as it works collaboratively with the ABF in this space. The Ombudsman described the containerised sea cargo industry as “a complex commercial environment.


Orbit Staff Updates

This month, Orbit Logistics welcomes aboard two new team members.Yvette Boyd joined the Orbit Team May 29 in a part-time Customs Brokerage role, primarily working on our Trusted Trade Application.

We also welcome aboard Gerard Reed.

Gerard commenced with us on the 12th June into the Orbit Sales Team as Sales Business Development.  Gerard possesses a high level of Sales knowledge, and is an individual who brings a wealth of experience and energy to the Orbit Team.

Gerard will play a major role in the Business Development of Orbit whilst also maintaining current client relationships.

National and Public Holidays

Around the world in the next month:

Monday            02nd July                  Canada                 New Foundland & Labrador
Monday            02nd July                  Hong Kong            Establishment Day